Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wandering < God Strategy

How many people love math?!
Wandering is less than God's Strategy so....
Therefore   GS + 0 = HF (Having Faith)        
AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.....not good at math!

This new generation of Israelites, led by Joshua and Caleb, are the first to step foot into the land promised by God.  And God's math, or perhaps best to say His strategy is to take over the land He promised, in not so conventional ways.  Read the fist part of Joshua to see the marching band version of how to capture a city.

Actually it is this phrase, "be strong and courageous" that we can lean in to this week. Christians, today, live in a  world that flows so strongly against the desires of the heart of God that Christ followers get identified by simply how they live.  How is that going this week?  Take a stand in your home, your school, your neighborhood, your work for Jesus this week.

Often, like the people of Israel, we are fearful of challenges and do not want to deal with them.  think of a challenge you have "back burnered" and then face it and deal with it.  Remember God is closer than you think.  Find ways to be accountable in this process this week.

It's exciting to grow, not only in knowledge of God's Word, but also in actions and attitude.  My prayer for us all this week is a renewed and deeper love for God's Word and a commitment to continue reading and applying God's truth every day.  I am also praying for you to be bold and courageous for the cause of Christ!

See you this weekend at PCC.

Loving God and you

Chuck

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Being Different - Set Apart - for God's purposes

 I was watching a mom discipline her child at a store a couple days ago.  a bunch of memories flashed through my mind about how my parents chose to discipline me (and I am sure they were times of discipline for the right reason).  Our parents rules are usually met with not the greatest optimism, but I now know they have/had my best interest at heart (and I was fortunate for that).

As the journey continues for Israel in our "Cover to Cover" series, we see a Holy God requires a holy people, so they are about to set themselves apart (consecrate) so that they can now meet with God.  They were invited to a direct relationship with the LORD, but opted for Moses to act as an intermediary on their behalf.

We get to see how the nation responds to those 10 commandments, and how they not only relate to God but to each other.  We also start to see that God is not just a God out there, He is now going to be a God with the people, amongst them.

God's grace compels a devotion to Him alone.  He is a jealous God for our benefit; all other gods lead to sin and death.  His people are free, not to act anyway they want, but free to become who He created them to be.  Holy, different, designed to point the world to Him.  God's redemption of Israel was not jsut from slavery, but for holiness as well.  Their freedom had a purpose.

It made me think of the disciplined child at the store.....did they then think before they walked into the store....everything that my mom says I will now do....?....Did they only think that knowing punishment was being dealt out?

I pray God gives you a clear vision of who He is this week.  Your story matters.  Welcome God into your heart, home, school, work.  It's OK to be different and set apart for God's purpose.  Be set apart this week.

Hope to see you this weekend at PCC.

Chuck

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ultimate Deliverer

Watching some Major League Baseball playoffs (on the DVR because it only takes 2 minutes) and seeing how happy people are when someone on the team deliverers in the clutch part of the game.  Its a big hit to win or an incredible pitch that the hitter misses.  We judge performance on how you deliver.  Even at your favorite eating establishment.  Can they deliver the goods you just ordered?!  The pressure is on!

Moses meets up with God at a bush that is burning, yet not burning.  God commissions Moses to be Israel's deliverer. Even when Pharaoh would not let the Israelite slaves go, God (our ultimate deliverer) gives us a glimpse, a shadow of what is to come with the Passover experience.  Blood from the innocent lamb rubbed on the doorposts so that the death angel would pass over the homes marked.

God delivering His people to the promised land is also a clue to the deliverance that Christ Jesus would later bring.  All this got me to thinking....
*  How did Moses' life experiences prepare him for God's call?  And what life experiences in your life does God use to minister to others?

*  How did Moses see his abilities and how did god see them?

*  When Pharaoh's heart was hardened we think, "how can that be?"  yet many times do we harden our heart?  and what should we do about it?

*  We need to commit to allowing God to use us as a conduit of His grace and truth to those around us that are enslaved or imprisoned.

 *  Moses face was radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.  What evidence of your relationship with the Lord would others say they see in you?

Just some thoughts....   See you this weekend!
Chuck

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Joseph & His no good very bad days...

Ever have days where it would seem the cards are really stacked against you?  How do you deal with those days?  How do you walk this journey of faith when so many disappointments hit you square in the face.

Have you taken the time to read Joseph's story from the book of Genesis.  Wow!  End of the book of Gensis,  Joseph is again reassuring his brothers that harm will not come to them for all the the things they did to Joseph.  Do you want a redemption sound byte from scripture.  Genesis 50:20 "You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

Our Messiah, Jesus, would not come for centuries, yet you can see how God is telling His incredible upper Story.  Joseph's life is a precursor, reminding that though man plans for evil, God redeems for good.  Beuty for ashes.  Life from death.  Man fails, but God prevails.........EVERY TIME!

Perhaps we need to embrace even the New Testament scripture from Romans 8, verse 28 that states, "In all things God works for the good of those who live him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Can you think of a situation in your own life where you need to embrace and indeed, experience this truth?

This week, I am working on having the mind that Joseph had.  Instead of becoming bitter, even when betrayed, I will trust God.  And I will work on the forgiveness factor in my life too.  Are there people in your life difficult to forgive?  How do you go about doing this?

Take time this week   to see where God is shaping you...even in hard times.  Ask god for eyes to see even the tough situations....then pray for courage.  I have been meditating on Romans 5:8 this week.  Try it.
"But God demonstrated his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Understanding God's grace helps my forgiveness factor.

See you this weekend. God has great things in store!

Chuck